Google Research

Palette-based Photo Recoloring

  • Huiwen Chang
  • Ohad Fried
  • Yiming Liu
  • Stephen DiVerdi
  • Adam Finkelstein
Transactions on Graphics (Proceedings of SIGGRAPH) (2015) (to appear)


Color manipulation is a key process in photo enhancement, and professional image editing suites incorporate an array of tools to support it. Some of these tools are easy to understand but offer a limited range of expressiveness. Other more powerful tools are difficult and time consuming to use, and inscrutable to novices. Researchers have described a variety of more sophisticated methods but these are typically not interactive, which is crucial for creative exploration. This paper introduces a simple, intuitive and interactive tool that allows non-experts to recolor an image colors by editing a color palette. This system is comprised of several components: a GUI that is easy to learn and understand, a new efficient algorithm for creating a color palette from an image, and a new efficient color transfer algorithm that recolors the image based on a user-modified palette. We evaluate our approach via a user study, showing that it is faster and easier to use than two alternatives. It also shows that untrained users can quickly achieve results comparable to those of experts using professional software.

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